pastel portrait of man with hatThis is another portrait study from a live model. The model, Brian, was in a live pastel portrait workshop that I took at Cuong Nguyen‘s studio in San Jose. I really liked Brian’s quirky mustache in combination with the hat, which gave him a comical touch. Although he looks intense, actually Brian was doing his best to stay awake, as he is not a professional model. I really liked the contrast of his serious expression with that quirky mustache and furry hat.

I wasn’t happy with my initial drawing that I did in the class and I was not able to finish it there. So I took photos of Brian and I’ve been working on it when I had some spare time until I felt it was finished. For me, for a portrait to be finished, it has to be alive and three dimensional enough to defy the flat surface.

For the first time I used canson’s sanded paper, and don’t like the surface. It takes a lot of layers of pastel, but it gives a textured effect, rather than smooth for portraits. For a male subject like this, the textured surface works out, but I would not use it for a female subject. I have been using Canson’s Mi-Tiente papers for years and still like the smooth side, however, it does not hold a lot of layers. So I will be looking around for other surfaces.